And any rejuvenation starts with the looks. Characteristic of the latest generation of Peugeots are large "claws" on the nose. These were first seen on the top model, the 508, but are already coming to the 2008 as it is the most popular model. On the GT version (as driven and photographed for this test), the headlights are divided into three segments to further emphasise the lion's claw theme.
The grille has widened, while the pattern is now vertical. This makes the 2008 appear larger in every respect. The rear looks wider thanks to new tail lights and the word "Peugeot" across the full-width panel between the tail lights. Also new is the grey colour the test car is finished in. However, according to the Autozine photographer, this is not an improvement. A work of art should not be encased in a rubbish bag, nor does that colour suit a charming appearance like the 2008.
A characteristic of any modern Peugeot is the so-called "i-Cockpit". A small steering wheel pokes deep into the interior, forcing the driver into an active seat for better control of the car. Because the steering wheel is small, the clocks are on top of the steering column, placing them in the driver's field of vision (similar to head-up display). As far as Autozine is concerned, this i-Cockpit alone is a reason to choose Peugeot.
In addition, the i-Cockpit has been updated for the 2023 model year. The display that sits on top of the steering column has been made larger, making it even easier to read. For the GT version, this has two layers for a 3D effect, so that important data is literally and figuratively at the front. The central screen got a faster computing unit, making it more responsive to the user. What has not been improved is the odd distribution of controls: some functions via the screen and some functions via toggle switches below it. This remains confusing.
The 2008 is a compact SUV. Therefore, entry is only a fraction easier than in a typical passenger car and the seating is only a fraction higher than average. The mighty feel that some of these "sports utility vehicles" give is therefore lacking. Front and rear space is average for a car of this size.
Electric vehicle: e-2008
For the 2008 model year, a mild hybrid with 48-volt technology has been added to the range. However, by far the most sought-after version is the all-electric e-2008 and it has therefore been improved most dramatically. The battery now has a greater capacity (was 50 kWh, is now 54 kWh), while the physical size has remained the same. The electric motor delivers more power at lower power consumption. Together, this makes for greater range and better performance.
During the test under very favourable weather conditions in the mountainous landscape of Andalusia, consumption of 14.5 kW / 100 km could be achieved. That was good for a range of 320 km, which is considerably less than the promised 406 km.
In daily traffic, almost nothing is noticeable of the increased power. However, when fast merging or quick passing is required, the extra power does come in handy. Peugeot wants to make the transition from an internal combustion engine car as easy as possible. This is why the response to the acclerator is restrained for an electric car. So don't expect the fast acceleration of some other electric cars. For the photo shoot, very steep slopes were climbed and it took this little SUV hardly any more effort than driving on a flat road.
By putting the automatic gearbox in b-mode, the e-2008 decelerates when releasing the accelerator and kinetic energy is converted into electricity. Again, this effect is much smaller than in other electric cars to minimise the transition from a petrol-powered car. One thing is very different from conventional cars, though: the e-2008 is so quiet that the air conditioning is more audible than sounds from the engine, tyres and wind combined!
The handling has not been updated for the 2023 model year. The e-2008 cannot disguise the weight of the batteries very well, but the chassis can control it well. Therefore, the e-2008 is always comfortable and lends itself just as easily to a dynamic driving style.
Thanks to the i-Cockpit, driving this Peugeot remains unique. The small steering wheel ensures that a small flick of the wrist is enough to make a big turn, giving a superior feel.
The Peugeot (e)2008 has been updated for the 2023 model year. With even more prominent "claws" in the front, the car has become tougher, while the French flair has remained. The new grey paint colour is not an improvement, as this moody hue does not match the frivolous lines. The i-Cockpit remains the main distinguishing factor and has been improved in details.
Thanks to a new battery and electric motor, the e-2008 has become more powerful and economical. However, both come in handy only in exceptional situations. Maximum power will be drawn sporadically and the full range will rarely be used. On paper, however, this makes the e-2008 more competitive, as the compact SUV offers even more value for money. In short: in practice little has changed, but on paper the Peugeot 2008 has improved for modelyear 2023.
- Great design
- Fine electric powertrain
- Unique driving experience thanks to iCockpit
- Controls sometimes confusing
- No space for rear passenger feet under front seats
- Rising rear window line gives reduced all-round visibility